Finals Week Hours and Free Coffee!!

Hard to believe that it is already time for finals! We have added hours and free coffee to help you make it through!

Extended hours:

Sunday, May 8th: 2:00 p.m. to Midnight
Monday through Thursday, May 9th through 12th: 8:30 a.m to midnight
Friday, May 13th: 8:30 to 5 p.m.
May 14th and 15th: Closed


coffee_SteamWe also will have free coffee, and lemonade (while supplies last)! We’ll keep the coffee hot and the lemonade cold for you!

Please help save the environment and bring your own cup!



Don’t forget the lower level of the library is a dedicated quiet study space, with study carrels, easy chairs, bean bag and gamer chairs!

We also have plenty of space on the main level for individual or group study. We have two group study pods with white boards and pod 1 has MediaScape®. (Please reserve study time in the pods by using the sign-up sheets by each pod).  We have several group study tables. We also have 2 print stations, 2 scanners, study carrels, and computers. And, don’t forget the computers in the multipurpose room!

crayonsIf you are in need a bit of a break – we’ve got you covered there, too! We have more Color by Number – Engineering Style grids! There will also be Legos® on hand! Take a break and let your mind relax for a bit!

Good luck with finals! 

May The 4th Be With You!!

Happy Star Wars© Day!
May the 4th Be With You!


While you are having your Star Wars© movie marathon you might want to create your own Star Wars© Universe. After all, who doesn’t need their own Han Solo in soaponite? An Ewok flower vase, or a Space Slug draft blocker?

The Star Wars Craft Book will help you create these, and oh, so many more!

There is a complete list of supplies needed to create any of the crafts in the book. Most of them are easily accessible or found around the house. Supplies include (but are not limited to) a needle-nose plier, sandpaper, tape measure, ruler, tape and binder clips. Each of the crafts has step-by-step instructions and are illustrated in full-color.

The book is divided into 5 sections:

Playtime includes finger puppets, a washcloth Wampa, and, for you cat lovers, a mouse Droid cat toy. Home Decor: Every Star Wars© home (universe) should have a Chewbacca tissue cover, Jabba the Hutt body pillow. And, of course there is Han Solo soaponite!

Han Solo Soaponite

Han Solo Soaponite

For the holidays you can have a Wookiee pumpkin for Halloween, a Mistle-TIE Fighter, or a Hanukkah Droidel. Nature & Science includes a Dagobah carnivorous plant habitat, a Wookiee bird house and an AT-AT herb garden.

AT-AT Herb Garden

AT-AT Herb Garden

And for those of you who want that Star Wars© style, there is a chapter that includes character rings, 5 things to do with your Star Wars© t-shirts, and my favorite – a crocheted R2-D2 beanie!

Perhaps, you’d like to create your own Daisy Ridley (Rey) blaster that she used in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.©  This youtube video will help you do just that!

If you are more into the gaming side of Star Wars©, check out Game On, Hollywood! Essays on the Intersection of Video Games and Cinema. The essays in this book look at how games and films intersect. The book looks at adaption, both video game to film and film to video game, but is mostly about narrative, bringing attention to the ways and possibilities of telling a story in the present moment. Felan Parker, author of the essay titled Millions of Voices: Star Wars©, Digital Games, Fictional Worlds and Franchise Canon, discusses how “the Star Wars© franchise has come to be defined by its emphasis on a singular, cohesive canon and larger fictional universe.” (pg. 156). This is the perfect resource for you to explore consequences of time, place and ideology, and examine approaches to the narrative in the age of multimedia storytelling.

Whether you choose to celebrate by making your own Daisy Ridley’s blaster (or a lightsaber!), or looking at the intersection of games and film, enjoy and May the 4th be with you!!


Papazian, Gretchen, Sommers, Joseph Michael, editors of compilation. 2013. Game on, Hollywood : essays on the intersection of video games and cinema. Jefferson, North Carolina. Engineering Library, PN1995.9 .V46 G37 2013

Burton, Bonnie. 2011. The Star Wars craft book. 2011. New York, Del Rey/Ballantine Books. Engineering Library TT157 .B87 2011

Wookieepedia : the Star Wars Wiki. Date accessed April 29, 2016

Butler, Nathan P., creator and compiler. Star Wars: Timeline GoldDate accessed April 29, 2016

Bongiomo, Joe, chronicled by. The Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline. Date accessed April 29, 2016

Star Wars Jedi Academy. July 31, 2007

Jakespeare, William. How to Make a Lightsaber (DIY). Jan. 3, 2012.



John Dix Fisher | May 2016 Notes from the John Martin Rare Book Room @Hardin Library


JOHN DIX FISHER (1797-1850). Description of the distinct confluent, and inoculated small pox, varioloid disease, cow pox, and chicken pox. 2nd ed. Boston, 1834  
Our copy has six vaccination needles inserted into the margins of two of the pages, seemingly indicating the book may have been used as a treatment room reference tool.

pox needles

Fisher graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1825 and went to Paris where he spent the next two years studying under Laennec, Andral, and Velpeau. Fisher was present at Massachusetts General Hospital when ether was introduced into surgery and was one of the first to use it during childbirth.

Fisher founded the Perkins Institution for the Blind in Boston, was its physician, and was a proponent of education for the blind. The paintings from which the plates were engraved were made when Fisher was studying at Paris in 1825 and were available for this edition. The delicately colored plates, drawn from life, illustrate the various forms and stages of pox and varioloid disease as recognized by the author.

You may view this book in the John Martin Rare Book Room, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences.  Make a gift to the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences by donating online or setting up a recurring gift with The University of Iowa Foundation.

Get ready for finals @Hardin Library | Therapy Dogs | Free Coffee |Free Popcorn |Later Hours

image by wokandapix @pixabay

It’s crunch time.  What are you going to do to get ready for your finals?  Hardin Library can help.
1. Free coffee.
2. Free popcorn Friday and Saturday.
3. Visit therapy dogs on Friday!
4. Easy to schedule group study rooms.
5. Quiet computer lab: West Commons, 2nd Floor.
6. Entire quiet floor of study space: 4th Floor.
7. 24 hour study space when the library is closed.
8. Help!  Our desk is staffed whenever the library is open.
9. Color printing.
10. Longer hours: library open until Midnight Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7.


Stormy Weather

Fujita Scale
“Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky
Stormy weather…”
Written by Harold Arien & Ted Koehler, 1933

Severe weather has been much in the news lately. How much do you really know about weather and what to do to stay safe?

When compared to hurricanes and winter storms, thunderstorms affect a relatively small area. Most thunderstorms cover an area about 15 miles in diameter and last about 30 minutes. Want to know how far away a thunderstorm is? After you see a flash of lightning, you really can count “1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi…” The rest – which most of us don’t know – is you divide that number by 5 and that will give you the approximate distance… So 10 “Mississippis” means the storm is really 2 miles away, not 10.

graphicThe conditions have to be right for a thunderstorm to develop. There must be moisture (creates clouds and rain), unstable air (warm air that can rise rapidly) and lift (caused by cold or warm fronts, sea breezes, mountains, or the sun’s heat). If a thunderstorm is considered severe, it brings wind over 58 mph, hail larger than 1/4 inch in diameter, causes wind damage and may produce tornadoes.

There is no thunder without lightning. Lightning is an electrical current and the channel of air through which it passes can be heated to 50,000°F – hotter than the surface of the sun! The energy from one lightning flash could light a 100 watt bulb for more than 3 months. The power of a bolt of lightning means there is no safe place outdoors in a thunderstorm. In the United States alone, lightning causes  between 50 and 100 fatalities and several hundred injuries each year. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning!

lightning_SquareThere are many “facts” about lightning that really aren’t facts… “Lightning never strikes the same place twice.” In reality, lightning prefers high places and the Empire State Building is struck about 25 times a year. “Rubber soles of shoes or rubber tires will protect you from being struck.” Nope. They provide no protection from lightning. The steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle will provide increased protection – just don’t touch the metal. “People who have been struck by lightning should not be touched.” Again, nope – lightning strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be helped immediately.

Rain, flash flooding, and hail are often parts of a severe thunderstorm. A flash flood occurs within a few hours (generally fewer than 6) of heavy or excessive rainfall – or if a dam fails or an ice jam breaks apart. Floods, as opposed to flash floods, are an abnormally high water flow that covers a naturally dry area. It usually takes floods much longer (more than 6 hours) to build up to dangerous levels. Floods and flash floods are the #1 cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms – more than 90 fatalities a year. More than half of those occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. Six inches of rushing water can knock you off your feet and 2 feet of rushing water can wash away most vehicles, including SUVs and pickups. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

Ever been hit by a hailstone? Water droplets are carried by an updraft to a height where they freeze, then when they grow in size and are too heavy to be supported by the updraft, they fall to the ground. They can fall at speeds 100+ mph! No wonder they hurt when you get hit! It is also why they cause so much damage to homes and vehicles.

fujita-tornado-scaleAnd then there are the tornadoes. They occur in many parts of the world, but most frequently in the United States. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air which is nearly invisible until it collects dust and debris within the funnel. They generally move from southwest to northeast, but can move in any direction and suddenly change directions, too. The average speed a tornado travels is about 30 mph, but they are sometimes stationary and can travel up to 70 mph. The strongest may have rotating winds of 200 mph. Tornadoes can also occur at any time of day and any day of the year. The Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF-Scale) measures the intensity of a tornado – ranging from EF-0 to EF-5.

You may have heard of “Tornado Alley.” Tornado Alley is not an official term, it is a phrase that has been popularized by the media. There really are no set borders to Tornado Alley, but it often is considered to be the area of Texas up through North Dakota and then east to Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. It is loosely designated depending on the criteria – frequency, intensity, or events per unit area. Iowa is generally considered to be a part of Tornado Alley.

Iowa City 1

Day 1 following the tornado. (Photo: Iowa City Press Citizen)

Tornadoes can wreak havoc as they travel across the countryside. In 2006 an EF-2 tornado ripped through Iowa City. It  heavily damaged multiple buildings on the UI Campus. It also tore through the downtown area, collapsing walls of historic buildings. It left a 3.5 mile path of destruction and was 1/3 of a mile wide.

How do tornadoes develop? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says, “Before thunderstorms develop, winds change direction and increase in speed with altitude. This creates an invisible, horizontal spinning effect in the lower atmosphere. Rising air within the thunderstorm updraft tilts the rotating air from horizontal to vertical. An area of rotation, 2-6 miles wide, now extends through much of the storm. Most tornadoes form within this area of strong rotation.”

Straight-line winds are, well, winds not associated with the rotation of a tornado… They are responsible for most of the damage during a thunderstorm. A straight-line wind can exceed 125 mph!

Again, some things we’ve learned as “facts,” are, in reality, not true. “Lakes, rivers, and mountains protect areas from tornadoes.” Unfortunately, no geographic location is safe from tornadoes. “A tornado causes buildings to explode as it passes overhead.” Wrong again. Violent winds and debris slamming into buildings cause the most damage. “Open windows before a tornado to equalize pressure in the building.” Nope. Virtually all buildings leak. Leave the windows closed and seek shelter.

Awareness of the weather conditions in your area and having a plan in place for emergencies is, obviously, the best way to stay safe. For help in devising the plan which will work the best for you and your loved ones, visit the NOAA storm preparedness website.

Make your emergency preparedness plan and then be safe this spring and summer!


Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning…Nature’s Most Violent Storms. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Date accessed, April 27, 2016

Severe Weather 101: Thunderstorm Basics. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Date accessed April 27, 2016

Friedman, John S. 2008. Out of the blue: a  history of lightning : science, superstition and amazing stories of survival. New York, NY : Delacorte Press. Engineering Library QC966 .F735 2008

Elsom, Derek M. 2015. Lightning (Nature and Culture). London, UK : Reaktion Books, Ltd. Engineering Library QC966 .E47 2015

Bouquegneau, Christian. 2010. How dangerous is lightning/ Mineola, NY : Dover Publications. Engineering Library QC966 .B6813 2010

Horvitz, Leslie Alan. 2007. The essential book of weather lore : time-tested wether widom and why the weatherman isn’t always right. Pleasantville, NY : Reader’s Digest Association. Engineering Library QC995.4 .H665 2007

Hamblyn, Richard. 2008. The cloud book: how to understand the skies. Cincinnati, Ohio : D&C David & Charles : in association with the Met Office. Engineering Library QC921 .H348 2008

Mogil, H. Michael. 2007.  Extreme weather : understanding the science of hurricans, tornadoes, floods, heat waves, snow storms, global warming and other atmospheric disturbances. New York, NY : Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers : Distributed by Workman Pub. Co. Engineering Library QC981 .M65 2007

Severe storms. NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Date accessed April 27, 2016

Tornado makes direct hit on Iowa City. Al Olson, Public Works Administrator. APWA, American Public Works Association. Date accessed: April 27, 2016.

Tornado Alley: Where Twisters Form.  Dec. 19, 2012.



Phil’s Day 2016 | Philanthropy @Hardin Library

Dr. John Martin
Dr. John Martin

Dr. John Martin

Phil stands for philanthropy, and this year we celebrate on April 28.  Hardin Library for the Health Sciences and the John Martin Rare Book Room exist because of generous gifts.

The John Martin Rare Book Room was started with a gift of Dr. Martin’s extensive collection of 3000 original, historical medical books from the 15th Century-present day.  Dr. Martin also provided an endowment which helped further purchase new materials for the collection.  The collection now numbers approximately 6500 items.

Dr. Robert C. Hardin envisioned the need for a comprehensive campus medical library while he was Dean of the College of Medicine.  Dr. Hardin found donors to help with the construction of the Health Sciences Library.  A photographic history of the library is available online.

Gifts to the Hardin Library can also be used to pay for renovations like new study rooms, modern furniture, or new technology like the One Button Studio.

Financial support to the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences or the John Martin Rare Book Room should be donated via The University of Iowa Foundation.   You may also give financial support to Hardin Library online.



Special Collections News 4/25/2016

Exhibition title on the front window "50 Years of Star Trek"Newsfeed: Blog post: Prickman honored with Arthur Benton University Librarian’s Award for Excellence Blog post: Special Collections’ Student Worker Wins UI Libraries’ Scholarship Clear Creek Amana High School student Jack Butler […]

Happy Earth Day!!



You’ve no doubt heard about all the ways to “green” your home – energy audits, the correct light bulbs for the particular purpose, programmable thermostats, etc., but have you thought about what a brand-new green home might look like? Straw bale homes? Earth-sheltered? Concrete?

Are you ready to be Chthonic? The definition of chthonic (thon’ik) is: “of or relating to the deities, spirits, and other beings dwelling under the earth.” You might not be a deity or spirit, (or a Hobbit) but you could be living under the earth!!

earth_HomeSo, why would you want to live underground? Earth-sheltered homes are much more energy efficient than traditional homes. They are less expensive to heat and cool because thermal mass helps the earth store heat and because there is an almost universally constant temperature of the earth below the frost line. They have fewer outside walls, so less dust gets in – really! An earth-sheltered home has built-in protection from fires, storms, and sound.  Since it is safer, insurance rates are often lower. Other savings include maintenance. The traditional home needs to be re-shingled every 10-20 years. An earth-sheltered home only needs be mowed…

What are the disadvantages? Often it is difficult to get a mortgage, and there can be resale problems. The house also must be constructed properly to insure there is no water seepage, and to control pests, mold and mildew problems. Radon gas can also be a problem since radon is a toxic, oderless, tasteless gas that is found underground. Underground homes also have problems with egress, which may make it difficult to meet codes. However, if the house is designed and built properly these disadvantages don’t need to be insurmountable.

Remember the Three Little Pigs and how the 1st little piggie built his house of straw? The wolf huffed and puffed and blew it down?


Straw Bale House. Byron Bay, NSW, Australia. Architect Rachel Bending. Photography: John Downs.

Straw bale homes are much more stable than the little piggies house!  In More Straw Bale Building, the authors state that walls “… that were tested withstood the maximum static air pressure that was applied, representing a significant wind of over 134 mph.” And, perhaps counter-intuitively, they are more fire-resistant than a standard wood framed home. The compact nature of a bale doesn’t trap enough air to support combustion. The amount of air that is trapped, along with the thickness of the bales makes a straw home very energy efficient, also. It is also easier to erect yourself, saving the cost of hiring professional builders. The walls are highly adaptable and may be finished to suit your own tastes – lumpy and old-world, or straight and modern. A straw home is also a quiet home – the nature of the walls causes sound and light to behave differently than a space that has been dry-walled. Disadvantages include water and humidity – not all areas of the country would be suitable for a straw bale home. Along with climate, building codes and permit ordinances can also be a problem.

Concrete Home. RP Watkins, Inc

Concrete Home. RP Watkins, Inc

Thomas Edison was ahead of his time when, early in the 20th century, he envisioned building concrete homes. Currently, Insulating Concrete From (ICF) homes are becoming more common. They are built with a “sandwich” wall – one layer of construction-grade foam on each face and reinforced concrete in the middle. ICF homes are more energy efficient, stronger, safer in fires, and more resistant to wind and natural disasters than a wood-frame home. The temperature within the home remains at a more consistent temperature and there are generally fewer drafts. They also tend to be more quiet than wood-frame homes. The disadvantages include water seepage if the home is built in an area with a high water table. The cost of building a cement home can be higher and if the builder isn’t experienced with ICF homes there could be problems with poor installation and aesthetics.

If you are thinking of building a new home, be sure to explore our resources to see which is the best green home for you. And, if you aren’t currently in the market to build, check all our resources on what you can do to make your current living space more energy efficient.

Happy Earth Day!!


Earth Day – April 22. 2016. Earth Day Network.

McConkey, Robert. The complete guide to building affordable earth-sheltered homes : everything you need to know explained simply. 2010. Ocala, Fla : Atlantic Engineering Library TH4819 .E27 M388 2010.

More Straw Bale Building: a Complete Guide to Designing and Building with Straw. Eng Lib TH4818.S77 M33 2005

More Straw Bale Building Eng Lib TH4818.S77 M33 2005

Magwood, Chris. More straw bale building : a complete guide to designing and building with straw. 2005. Gabriola Island, BC : New Society Publishers. Engineering Library TH4818 .S77 M33 2005

VanderWerf, Pieter A. 2007. The concrete house : building solid, safe, and efficient with insulating concrete forms. Christchurch, new Zealand : Stonefield Pub. Engineering Library TH4818 .R4 V36 2007.

Building Houses with Concrete Block: Pros and Cons. Date accessed April 18, 2016

Do Concrete Homes Cost More? Date accessed April 18, 2016

Straw Bale Construction: Pros and Cons. June 23, 2015. Survivopedia

Other Resources:

Rehfeld, Barry. 2011. Home sweet zero energy home : what it takes to develop great homes that won’t cost anything to heat, cool, or light up, without going broke or crazy. Gabriola, B.C. : New Society Publishers. Engineering Library TJ163.5 .D86 R44 2011

Shariff, Jamil. 2009. 50 green projects for the evil genius. New York : McGraw-Hill. Engineering Library GE195 .S47 2009

Findley, David S. 2010. Do-it-yourself home energy audits : 140 simple solutions to lower energy costs, increase your home’s efficiency and save the environment. New York : McGraw-Hill. Engineering Library TJ163.5.D86 F523 2010

DeGunther, Rik. Energy efficient homes for dummies. 2008. Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley : Chichester : John Wiley distributor. Engineering Library TJ163.5 .D86 2008

Ecocapsule is the egg-shaped tiny home that can go off-grid and off-pipe. May 21, 2015. treehugger.

Green Magic Homes kit lets you assemble your own house – and then bury it. by Ben Coxworth. November 24, 2015. Gizmag

The Pros and cons of Straw Bale Wall Construction in Green Building. 2015. Building with Awareness.